Press Release

RELEASE — Community Health Associations Urge CMS to Extend Open Enrollment

Washington, D.C. (October 14, 2020)- The Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP) and the Alliance for Community Health Plans (ACHP) sent a joint letter requesting that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) extend the Open Enrollment period through January 2021 or create a special enrollment period to allow consumers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to enroll in coverage in early 2021.

The pandemic has cost millions of Americans their jobs and their employer-sponsored health insurance. For many, this will be their first time looking for individual market coverage, and their financial and employment situation may well still be uncertain. Consumers have from November 1 to December 15, 2020—just 45 days—to select and enroll in the right plan for their circumstances. At the same time, consumers whose grace periods have been delayed owing to the pandemic are at risk for having their insurance retroactively cancelled on December 31, leaving them with no options for comprehensive coverage on the individual market if open enrollment closes as scheduled.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has already resulted in unprecedented job and health coverage loss, and shows no signs of letting up,” said ACAP CEO Margaret A. Murray. “Consumers should have additional time to make informed decisions about their health coverage. It doesn’t benefit anyone to limit open enrollment to 45 days.”

“Navigating health care is challenging enough, without a pandemic and an economic downturn on top of it. In this time of tremendous uncertainty, the least we can do is offer Americans the opportunity to find and secure the coverage that best fits their needs,” said ACHP President and CEO Ceci Connolly. “Extending the open enrollment period is a simple step that will make a big difference for millions of families who need access to affordable, high-quality health care.”

About ACHP:

The Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP) represents the nation’s top-performing non-profit health plans to improve affordability and outcomes in the health care system. ACHP member companies are provider-aligned health organizations that provide high-quality coverage and care to tens of millions of Americans. They are leading the industry in practical, proven reforms around primary care delivery, value-based payment and data-driven systems improvement.

ACHP advocates on behalf of its members and a unique approach to health care today, one that puts the patient at the center with health plans and clinical teams collaborating to improve health outcomes and reduce costs. Our advocacy focuses on providing policymakers with tested solutions being realized in communities nationwide and rooted in a model that is proven to deliver better value for patients, employers and taxpayers. Learn more at the ACHP website and follow us on Twitter for the latest health insights.

About ACAP:

ACAP represents 77 health plans, which collectively provide health coverage to more than 20 million people. Safety Net Health Plans serve their members through Medicaid, Medicare, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Marketplace and other publicly-sponsored health programs. For more information, visit www.communityplans.net.